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2011 BMW X3

Overview
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2011 BMW X3 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The original BMW X3 "Sport Activity Vehicle" debuted in 2003, and was one of the pioneers of the luxury small crossover craze, influencing brands like Acura, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz to follow in their footsteps. But the years took their toll on the X3. Although it continued to improve year after year, without a full redesign, it began to look a little less fresh compared to the competition's newer crop of vehicles. Here's the good news: That all changes with the 2011 BMW X3. It sports a fresh look, a sporty - but not overly harsh ride, and a host of new luxury and convenience features.

You'll Like This Car If...

If the 3 Series Sedan is a favorite but you'd like something with a hatch, an easier load-in height, and just a hint of ruggednesss, the X3 is worth a look.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Front and rear legroom are not one of the 2011 BMW X3's strongest suits. And, although the last generation X3 offered a manual transmission, this compact crossover only now comes in automatic transmission flavor, potentially upsetting diehard manual fans.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 BMW X3 offers more of everything: It's larger, more refined inside and out, comes with more standard equipment, more power underhood...and, in xDrive28i form, starts for less than the previous generation.

Driving the X3

Driving Impressions The X3, more so in this second-generation, is truly a taller 3 Series Sedan. And we mean that in a very positive way. With a sporty (but less harsh than...

the first generation) ride, great steering feel and the same 2.8-liter and twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6s found in the 3 Series Sedan, this crossover is sure to please the enthusiast in your soul. The manual transmission has been dropped for this generation, but the eight-speed automatic is no slouch, and offers paddle shifters along with Sport and Sport plus driving modes (which also adjust the chassis and throttle/steering responses) for those looking for a little more sportiness in their life.

Driving Dynamics Control
This optional system allows you to modify shock absorber firmness, engine throttle response, transmission shifting characteristics, power steering feel and stability/traction controls to suit your tastes. Choose normal, sport or sport plus to change how the X3 feels based on the road or your mood.

Head-Up Display
Available as an option, this system projects navigation directions and the speed the vehicle traveling onto the windshield, providing the driver with essential information without taking their eyes off the road.

2011 BMW X3 Details
Interior

Inside the 2011 BMW X3, you'll find tasteful wood trim, intuitive audio and climate controls, and comfortable, supportive seats. You'll also notice the standard iDrive and 8.8-inch information screens, an electronic parking brake as well as the same futuristic-looking automatic transmission shifter (you'll know what we mean when you see it) that's been introduced across the lineup. Although the 2011 BMW X3 sports larger dimensions, front and rear legroom isn't exactly generous.

Exterior

Although the 2011 BMW X3 still shares the same wedge shape as the previous generation, this new incarnation sports a much more muscular, rounded look. The headlights and fog lights have been pulled to the sides of the vehicle, the kidney-shaped grille is more robust -looking, and the wheel arches are aggressively flared. To borrow a word from the German product presentations we so often see, the X3 design is an exercise in "dynamism." We couldn't agree more.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Mechanically, the X3 xDrive28i comes with a 3.0-liter in-line six engine mated to an automatic eight-speed transmission and puts power to pavement via a standard all-wheel drive system and 17-inch wheels. Inside, you'll find eight-way power front seats, silver matte trim, leatherette seating surfaces, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, HD Radio and the latest and greatest version of iDrive - which is much easier to use than previous iterations. The xDrive 35i ups the ante with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged in-line six, xenon adaptive headlights, chrome tailpipes, 18-inch wheels and Siena interior wood trim.

Optional Equipment

You can equip your X3 with niceties like heated seats, a navigation system, premium audio, leather seating and a panoramic moonroof, but perhaps the coolest option is to custom-order your car and watch it being built via a video from BMW. Opting to custom order makes other perks available including interior and exterior color choices not available on dealer's lots and the opportunity to fly to the BMW factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and take possession of your shiny new car. If you're feeling ambitious you can also can put your new car through its paces on both a race track and an off-road course across the street from the factory at the Performance Drive Center.

Under the Hood

The 2011 BMW X3 offers two engines: a 3.0-liter in-line six that produces 240 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.0-liter turbocharged in-line six that nets 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a responsive eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode; Sadly, the manual transmission offered in the previous generation is not an option for this new iteration. BMW's third-generation intelligent all-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.

3.0-liter in-line 6
240 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
221 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2600-3000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25

3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1200-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26

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2011 BMW X3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 40 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Very Very Nice Vehicle

By on Monday, June 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great Vehicle with excellent storage space"

Cons: "second seat don't recline. my only complaint"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This vehicle is amazing. I like the fact that I was able to custom order my vehicle at no additional cost. I had to wait a month before it was delivered but it was worth it. I opted for the xdrive 35i over the 28 and I'm glad I did. This thing screams. It has on the move drive modes so I can switch between comfort and sport which I believe engages the turbo. It also changes the shift ranges of the transmission. My daily driver is a 2007 Infiniti M45. When I compare driving pleasures, I think that the X3 without question is faster on take off because you can feel the all wheel drive of the X3 pulling but the V8 of the M45 pens you to the seat. Both have the ability for burnouts. That is both from standstill and roll.But I think the M45 would take the X3 in a head to head. I also opted for the painted trim. Money if you ask me well spent."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Drives like a sports car. Great power, handling!

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "FUN, FUN FUN to drive."

Cons: "NAV software needs to be scrapped and reworked"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This a terrific all around vehicle. I've had several BMW's but this is my favorite. The Sport+ program makes this SUV drive like a high end sprts car. Could not be happier with this ourchase. Heads up display is really useful. Only complaint is the Navigation system is cumbersome and the Voice recognition software basically doesn't work. It's more frustrating than anything else."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great to drive - feels like a sports car

By on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gas mileage - Handling - Looks - Looks"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my first BMW. When I was shopping for a vehicle with these options, I found the price of the BMW was just a little more than most "American" SUV's. After driving the X3, wow - I wanted this car. Almost forgot: I get an average of 30 miles to the gallon - 4 cycle."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

excellent driving vehicle-engine is terrific

By on Saturday, April 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Excellent car with perfect quality so far-easy to drive with excellent engine performance. Interior design is excellent."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Solid, handles great

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, very quick"

Cons: "none so far"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very solid performer. Comfortable seats, intuitive electronics. Great leather, paint and storage. Plenty of room on back seat for tall people. Impressive MPG... been averaging 22 in town."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Solid, handles great

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, very quick"

Cons: "none so far"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very solid performer. Comfortable seats, intuitive electronics. Great leather, paint and storage. Plenty of room on back seat for tall people. Impressive MPG... been averaging 22 in town."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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